How to Use Photo Booth on the iPad mini

Photo booths (which do still exist, even on the iPad mini) are fun places to ham it up solo or with a friend as the machine captures and spits out wallet-size pictures.

With the Photo Booth app, Apple has cooked up a modern alternative to a real photo booth. The app is a close cousin to a similar application on the Mac. Here’s how Photo Booth works:

  1. Tap the Photo Booth icon.

    The tic-tac-toe-style grid.

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  2. Point the front-facing camera at your face.

    You see your mug through a prism of eight rather whacky special effects: Thermal Camera, Mirror, X-Ray, Kaleidoscope, Light Tunnel, Squeeze, Twirl, and Stretch. The center square (what is this, Hollywood Squares?) is the only one in which you come off looking normal. Some of the effects make you look scary, some merely goofy.

    You can also use the rear camera in Photo Booth to subject your friends to this form of, um, visual abuse.

  3. Choose one of the special effects (or stick with Normal) by tapping one of the thumbnails.

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    If you’re not satisfied with the effect you’ve chosen, tap the icon at the lower-left corner of the app to return to the Photo Booth grid and select another.

  4. When you have your bizarre look just right, tap the shutter release on the screen to snap the picture.

    Your pic lands (as do other pictures taken with the iPad cameras) in the Camera Roll album.

  5. (Optional) After choosing an effect and taking a picture, doctor things up even further by pinching or unpinching with your fingers.

    From the Camera Roll album or from right here in the Photo Booth, pictures can be shared in all the usual places or — you might want to seriously consider this, given the distortions you’ve just applied to your face — deleted.

Nah, we’re only kidding. Keep the image and take a lot more.

Don’t forget to check out the App Store. As of this writing, hundreds, probably thousands, of photography-related apps are available there, a whole host of them free. That’s too many to mention here, but you’ll find terrific photo apps just by wandering around the place.